All too often, live music events are almost ruined by concert-goers who aren’t really there to enjoy the music; they may be there because their friends invited them, or maybe because they just wanted a drink at the bar where a band happens to be playing. Whatever the reason, this kind of disinterest can really negatively affect the whole experience for the band and fellow audience members.
As the new condo buildings rise in SoHo, the historical perspective as to how we got here fades. Few of the swells dropping seven and even eight figure checks on the table for their new digs have much knowledge about why SoHo really is SoHo. Yes, they might know that the acronym stands for south of Houston Street, and that Warhol and Castelli were on West Broadway around the same time in the 70's, but what about the raw lofts, fixture fees and guerrilla art?
Once again, I find myself not that surprised but very pleased at the talent that Brian Newman introduces to a wider audience. And once again, I experienced these two talents for the first time at the Django, the cellar level venue of the Roxy Hotel, which is a venue that I swear by and consider my new home base for live music. On June 17th, Brian invited two acts to share the stage with him; the legendary Jose Feliciano, and the up and coming Carly and Martina.
The crowds don’t start until some time around noon. So, it seemed like a good time to walk along West Broadway. The vendors and artists that line the sidewalks from Broome to Houston Streets used to start shortly after 8 a.m. but even at 10:00 a.m. it was certainly not crowded. Some of the artists have headed to the High Line while others have left SoHo for other parts of the country but there are still a few familiar faces.
In an attempt to behave less like an irresponsible drunk adolescent and more like a responsible drunk adult, I’ve been following some of my favorite performers to new and immersive venues, my favorite being the Django. The performers I followed there were the incomparable Brian Newman Quintet, and I know anyone they choose to relinquish their stage to will be fantastic in their own right.
Several years ago there was an ad campaign for Levy's Rye Bread plastered all over the subway. A smiling face and a loaf of bread beckoned us to try their new product, proclaiming, “You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Rye Bread!”
I didn’t think it possible, but creator, choreographer, and artistic director Austin McCormick has outdone himself. Company XIV very recently debuted their production of Snow White, and it goes beyond all expectations. Snow White was a different experience than Cinderella or Nutcracker Rouge, in that it had much more drama and less, but still some, humor. This show was unnerving in the most wickedly sexy way conceivable, and was emphasized by much more foreboding, climactic music than was featured in previous shows.
Every Tuesday and Thursday night, the Brian Newman Quintet graces Gramercy Park with a truly authentic old New York jazz set. Located in the Rose Bar of the notoriously lavish Gramercy Park Hotel, this bi-weekly event welcomes you into an experience of great music and extravagance. The environment is very grandiose while still maintaining a friendly and accessible feel, which can be difficult to do with Basquiats and Warhols adorning the walls.